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Rugby - Ireland's Kearney doubtful for World Cup opener

Rugby - Ireland's Kearney doubtful for World Cup opener
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Scotland v Ireland - BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Britain - February 9, 2019 Ireland's Rob Kearney arrives at the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo -
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LEE SMITH(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Ireland fullback Rob Kearney is in doubt for its Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland on Sunday after sustaining a calf problem in training, a team spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old, who has 92 caps, will be monitored by the medical team to gauge his fitness ahead of Ireland’s Pool A game in Yokohama.

“He’s got a bit of tightness in his calf,” an Ireland spokesman told the World Cup website https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/news/463637.

“There’s no training today. We’ll be able to update again (on Wednesday) on how he’s going.”

Kearney’s potential absence for the world’s top-ranked team would be a further injury blow with centre Robbie Henshaw set to miss the Scotland game due to a hamstring issue.

Winger Keith Earls is still returning to fitness following an injury sustained during this month’s 19-10 warm-up victory over Wales.

Joey Carbery returned to training on Monday for the first time since suffering an ankle ligament injury as Joe Schmidt’s team beat Italy 29-10 in Dublin last month.

Kearney’s Leinster team mate Jordan Larmour could fill in for him while Munster’s Andrew Conway is another option.

Six-times quarter-finalists Ireland also face hosts Japan, Russia and Samoa in the group stages.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens)

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